A Bute hotelier has launched an online petition this week urging the Scottish Government to introduce RET ferry fares on the whole of the Clyde in October this year.
Andy Walters from Munro’s B&B in Ardbeg wants Scotland’s transport minister Keith Brown to ensure that other Clyde islands don’t lose out when an RET trial is introduced on Arran’s routes in four months’ time - a full year before the discounted fares scheme is due to be rolled out to the rest of the CalMac network.
Mr Walters has criticised the Scottish Government’s justification for the Arran trial - namely that it would to provide “valuable information” on demand management ahead of the roll-out to the rest of the network.
Mr Walters says: “We on Bute can see no real reason to delay the introduction of the RET fares to the whole Clyde ferry network.
“The far greater number of Wemyss Bay-Rothesay sailings will provide far better data on demand management and anyway, surely the years of trials to the Outer Hebrides and the introduction of RET to Islay, Colonsay and Gigha in 2012 will have provided more than enough information.
“The economy of Bute is almost entirely dependent on visitors whether for tourism or on business. Crucially, for a 12 month period fares to Arran will be cheaper than to Bute as a result of this decision.
“The effect on the Bute economy for that 12 months could be devastating as tourists choose to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Arran instead of Bute.”
Click here to sign the petition and to view the comments made by signatories so far.